Does Sugaring Actually Hurt? 8 Things To Know Before Trying This Hair Removal Treatment


As someone who's not that concerned about her body hair, I've never personally tried waxing. TBH, the thought of hot wax ripping out my hair follicles -- especially in my bikini area -- leaves me paralyzed with fear. But when my friend told me she was getting her bikini zone “sugared” for the first time, I was both puzzled and intrigued. Since her explanation of the hair removal treatment seemed less than possible to me when I asked her to describe it, I did a little research on my own. If it were really as simple as she said, even I would be willing to give it a try. But a few questions had to be answered first, of course, before I attempted any kind of experiment downtown, chief among them being: does sugaring hurt?

Now, when I asked my friend to describe the procedure and how it felt, she said something along the lines of, “I guess they rub a sugar mixture on you, and your pubes go away, and it doesn't really hurt.”

To be clear, the procedure isn't quite as simple as my dear friend describes. Sure, the idea of waxing your body hair sans pain sounds awesome, but what does the process actually entail?

Well, here comes a little sugaring truth. Here's to hoping we can handle it.

1. The Ingredients Involved Are Stuff You Can Actually Eat

All natural, baby.

When it comes to sugaring, the paste or “gel” used to remove the hair is made of sugar, lemon, hot water, and, in some approaches, honey and a little bit of lavender oil.

This means no strange additives or weird ingredients you don't understand or can't pronounce. That's a major plus, if you ask me.

2. You Have To Exfoliate Your Skin Before Sugaring

Oh, and you have to exfoliate when you're done, too.

And this isn't just a suggestion; it's apparently crucial to the process, as it helps combat your ingrown hairs, makes the experience less painful, and makes the treatment more effective, because the sugaring paste isn't clogged with your dead skin cells.

3. The Sugaring Paste Sticks To The Hair, Not The Skin

Part of the reason why waxing is so painful, apparently, is because the wax sticks to the skin and the hair it's removing.

Sugaring, on the other hand, only sticks and binds to the hair, and pulls it out from the root when removed, supposedly causing less irritation as a result.

4. You Have To Hold Tight While The Paste Is "Flicked" Off

That part is the same as waxing: It's basically that "brace yourself" moment, but with sugaring, the technique is slightly different. You move with the direction of the hair growth, then kind of “flick it off.”

5. The Treatment Lasts A Long Time

People who have tried the experiment have claimed the hair removal lasts way longer than waxing, with one woman saying she was able to go 21 days hair-free in her underarms.

Pretty sweet, right?

6. Sugaring Is Particularly Great For Ingrown Hairs

Those little monsters that we call ingrown hairs are awful, but sugaring apparently helps reduce the risk of them, because of that whole sticking to the hair instead of the skin thing.

OK, I'm kind of warming up to this now.

7. Sugaring Has Actually Been Around For A Long, Long Time

It's possible that some of your ancestors sugared, as the treatment dates back centuries and has long been practiced in places like the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Greece.

(Read: Women have been trying to remain hairless for many years, and sugaring has somehow survived the test of time.)

8. But It Does Kind Of Hurt

Yeah, sorry to break it to you, it will hurt at least a little bit, though most people say it's not as bad as a traditional wax. Otherwise, it would kind of be too good to be true, you know?

So, is the natural smoothness worth the pain? You'll have to decide that one for yourself. As for me, I think I'll hold onto my hair for now.